Sadio Mane is the major absentee from Jurgen Klopp’s squad as Liverpool host Manchester United in the weekend’s marquee Premier League clash.
Liverpool will look to put a miserable pre-international break period behind them when they play hosts to Manchester United at Anfield on Saturday. The Reds have won just one of their last seven games in all competitions, and Jurgen Klopp’s task doesn’t get any easier due to a major absentee.
Sadio Mane sustained a hamstring injury while on international duty for Senegal against Cape Verde earlier this week. Early reports suggest that the winger will be out for up to six weeks, handing the Liverpool boss a huge blow as he makes his preparation for the big game against their arch rivals.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference, Klopp had a resigned outlook on the Senegalese winger’s injury as he said that injuries during the international break is beyond his control, and that they have to deal with it.
Klopp: “We can play without him even if we would love to have him in the line-up. That’s how it is.” pic.twitter.com/ZMnwOQ6vJo
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) October 13, 2017
“Things like this happen. If you look around the world, a lot of players in this international break got injured. You always hope that nothing will happen, but as long as they are not around, we don’t know exactly what happens. That’s not cool, but we have to deal with it – how we always have to do.”
However, Klopp also added that the injury to Mane offers some other players the chance to make a mark, and the Liverpool boss exuded confidence when asked if the other members of his squad could fill the void.
“Yes, of course. It’s all about really building a really strong side, a real strong line-up for the next game. In the moment, we are still in a quite comfortable situation because we have different options and that’s good. That’s what we wanted to have before the season – now we have it and now we have to use it.”
Finally, Klopp revealed that the rest of his international contingent have returned without any injury concerns, including Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino, who reported to the club’s Melwood training base on Thursday.
There were doubts surrounding Coutinho and Georginio Wijnaldum after they trained away from the rest of the squad on Thursday, but the duo is fit and ready to face Manchester United. Klopp would now be hoping that his squad manages to shrug off a run of poor form to bounce back to winning ways on Saturday.